Who is your grocer? Do you like to buy your vegetables from that well maintained supermarket with its soothing ambiance or that unpolished farmers’ market with its chaotic charm? The answer I know will be,
I mean, if you are really scrupulous about a to z in your life or really settled about your grocery choice, you can give a sure answer. However, it could also depend upon factors beyond your personality type. As your answer depends upon which part of the country or which part of the world you are living at the moment as well.
Recently I visited Vienna in Austria. Farmers’ market is rare there if I am correct. Supermarkets are doing all the business and people seem to be happy for the time being. The above picture is a glimpse from Vienna’s Naschmarkt, a 16th century old open air market, now specially an area of tourist attraction and one of only a few of this kind.
In America (not New York of course!) a growing number of people however, are opting for farmer’s markets as that allow them to have more control over their knowledge about the origin and growth culture of their food. They are termed as “Locavores”. They like to consume locally grown food instead of the best quality product brought from the distant or opposite part of the world. Study on the roots of this kind of local food movement from University of Iowa says that the underlying emotion here is that the producers and consumers are directly connected and feel part of the same community.
In India local markets which are not necessarily always a farmer’s market but mostly open air are still thriving compared to supermarkets next to them. But, it is not that these markets give buyers a lot of news about the source of products. But consumers here again prefer the human connection (well that also includes negotiations to bitter quarrels for price everyday!). A surge of online marketing is visible here as well to make life comfortable.
Let’s do some generalization which is although partly but true of course. It seems America is tired of artificial comfort and heading for homemade marmalade. Europe (well, I know I have mentioned one city only!) is enjoying the so-called synthetic happiness for now. While Eastern world (considering the example of India) is still to go through the transitions seen by west.
If we haven’t forgotten, once upon a time not long ago, markets were the places of meeting of people from near and far for business, socializing and amusement. A change from life’s boredom when there was no internet. In today’s world people can buy grocery to amusement online and can socialize online again. But life is still boring now and then! Just as fashion goes and comes around, human craving for face to face sweet and sour socializing can never be off-market for long!